Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Review

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Review - The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is an extremely portable colour checker for use when you're out and about. Review by John Riley.

 Add Comment

Category : Exposure and Light Meters
Product : X-Rite X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
Price : £75
Rating :
Share :

Features
Performance
Verdict



For the most critical control of colour a variety of targets and devices have come onto the market. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport offers the same advantages but in a literally passport sized package that can be carried anywhere with the minimum of inconvenience. Let us examine how it performs in practice.


X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Features


ColorChecker  Passport
 Enhancement and Classic
Case


The passport sized case, measuring just 125 x 90 x 9mm and weighing a modest 80g, contains not one but three separate targets.

The Creative Enhancement target can be used to detect clipping and to establish warming or cooling of the image. For example, a portrait could be warmed slightly to enhance the skin tones.

The Classic target is an industry standard colour patch that enables custom camera profiles to be made and also allows the evaluation of specific colours. For this review I made a profile for my Pentax K-5 and shot a multi-coloured subject using the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro lens.

The White Balance target is used to make a custom white balance in the usual way.

The final panel in the case is used to note the date the Passport is first used and replacement after 2 years is recommended. All colours fade with time and this device will be no exception.

Software is provided on CD and this loads quickly and efficiently with no problems. For the purposes of the review I used a Windows 7 PC.


X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Performance


The sample shot shows a box full of various styles and colours of dice and what is immediately noticeable is that both the profiled DNG file and the K-5 JPEG are remarkably similar. In this instance it is a moot point which is the better shot and I conclude that, seen independently, both are totally acceptable.

The software and process involved is straightforward and unambiguous. The Passport is placed within the image frame to establish the profile, although in every case the software failed to Auto Detect and the position of the colour patches had to be manually specified. This is a simple enough procedure.

JPEG
DNG Macro - Colours are highly accurate using a DNG custom profile. JPEG - The Pentax K-5 Premium JPEG is very close to the corrected DNG file.


In fact, the Passport can be used with JPEG files to fine tune the end result, but it is primarily intended for use with DNG files. This is fine for Pentax, Leica and a few other cameras, but not all marques offer DNG capture. In this event it will be necessary to use Adobe's DNG converter, thus negating some of the convenience that the passport's diminutive size offers.

The ColorChecker Passport is well made and should last easily for its two year lifespan. The software is easy to set up and use. It is somewhat critical to ensure that there is no clipping in any of the colour channels when a profile is being made, otherwise the software refuses to proceed. This is not a criticism, just an observation that accurate exposure is necessary, which is no bad thing.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Verdict


The ColorChecker Passport is an easy to use and convenient tool that will be advantageous when working with critical colour requirements. The ability to warm and cool images on location shoots will be very helpful to portrait and wedding photographers. General users might bear in mind that, depending upon their camera, the advantages gained may be very subtle and not necessarily relevant to shots where the colour of the light is not defined. An example would be a sunset, where correction would be entirely subjective in any event.

A very convenient and useful item where maximum colour accuracy is required.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Pros

Very compact
Well made
Easy to use
Practical

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Cons

No fade checking patch


FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL

Explore More

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Comments


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.